(Photo credit: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
Iraq’s Office of Public Prosecution has named former prime minister Mustafa Kadhimi in the investigation into the illegal US assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi resistance leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis – which took place in January 2020 at Baghdad airport.
On 16 March, a member of Iraq’s parliament, Hussein Mones, filed an accusation against Kadhimi at the Public Prosecution Office for “gross negligence” and “failing to provide necessary security information to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to take appropriate measures that would prevent endangering the safety of civil aviation at Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.”
Mones’ official accusation also highlights “intentional damages to public property,” which include the vehicles that were transporting Soleimani and Muhandis when the illegal US strike happened.
The accusations pertain to Kadhimi’s tenure as the head of the country’s National Intelligence Service – a role he occupied before his becoming prime minister in May 2020.
In July 2020, Iran suggested that it had evidence that linked Kadhimi to the killing of Soleimani and Muhandis.
At the time, a top commander in Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah resistance group, Abu Ali al-Askari, made a similar accusation and referred to Kadhimi’s candidacy for the premiership as a “declaration of war on the Iraqi people.”
Other resistance groups linked to Iran and the IRGC echoed the accusation. There are also reports linking the Iraqi Kurdish counterterrorism service to the killing.
In December last year, it was reported that Iraqi lawmakers were considering slapping an arrest warrant against Kadhimi for his alleged role in the US assassination. At the time, it was revealed that the former prime minister was being sheltered inside the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone area.
The former prime minister is already implicated in what Iraqis are calling the ‘heist of the century,’ which saw the embezzlement of at least $2.5 billion worth of Iraqi public funds between September 2021 and August of last year.
Arrest warrants have been issued against several officials from Kadhimi’s government, and the former prime minister may be subject to one as well.